Photography Exhibition at Asia Society Texas Center Celebrates the Resilience of the Human Spirit following Japan’s 2011 Earthquake

'Deserted Town' from the series 'The Abandoned Animals of Fukushima,; Ôta Yasusuke  (Japanese), 2011, Photograph, pigment‑based inkjet print, ©Yasusuke Ota, Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

HOUSTON, TX, September 14, 2016 — On March 11, 2011, an earthquake and enormous wave of water swept through the Tōhoku (Northeast) region of Japan, destroying virtually everything in its path and irrevocably damaging the Fukushima nuclear power plant. This disaster was of such epic proportion that it became a defining moment for Japan.

Today, the earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima failure have collectively become known as the “Triple Disaster” or “3/11,” after the date of the first events. "In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11," is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and is the first exhibition to explore the photography created in reaction to these tragic events. Their work explores the way art provides a powerful language for reflecting on tragic events and contributing to human recovery.

The exhibition will open at Asia Society Texas Center on Saturday, October 1 in the Center’s Louisa Stude Sarofim Gallery. “We are delighted to feature such important work in Houston, a city with a deep appreciation for contemporary photography and photographers working in Japan," said Bridget Bray, Nancy C. Allen Curator and Director of Exhibitions.

On view will be approximately 80 works by 17 photographers, some among Japan’s most celebrated artists and others who are emerging talents: Takashi Arai (born 1978), Nobuyoshi Araki (born 1940), Ishu Han (born 1987), Naoya Hatakeyama (born 1958), Takashi Homma (born 1962), Kikuji Kawada (born 1933), Rinko Kawauchi (born 1972), Keizō Kitajima (born 1954), Kōzō Miyoshi (born 1947), Yasusuke Ota (born 1958), Masato Seto (born 1953), Lieko Shiga (born 1980), Shimpei Takeda (born 1982), Masaru Tatsuki (born 1974), Daisuke Yokota (born 1983), and Tomoko Yoneda (born 1965). An area featuring a lost-and-found photo installation includes rescued personal snapshots that were washed up in the debris and sorted for survivors, offering a tangible way to hold onto memories.

The exhibition, coming to Houston during the 5th anniversary of these momentous events in Japan, has special local relevance. As a coastal region with a long history of experiencing, and recovering from, natural disasters such as hurricanes and flooding, Houston and the surrounding areas have many points of connection with Tōhoku. The exhibition’s featured artists created work in the wake of 3/11, leading others towards new ways of thinking about, and learning how to cope with, the enormity of the changes they experienced. Their creativity and artistry can be a source of inspiration for local residents in Houston who have had similar experiences.

The exhibition will be on view through January 1, 2017, and admission is free and open to the public. Asia Society, located at 1370 Southmore Blvd, Houston, Texas, is open Tuesday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday – Sunday, 10 a.m. –6 p.m.

This exhibition at Asia Society is made possible through major support from Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy C. Allen, Leslie and Brad Bucher, Nancy and Robert J. Carney, and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Generous funding also provided by The Anchorage Foundation of Texas, The Clayton Fund, Ann Wales, and through contributions from the Friends of Exhibitions, a premier group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional visual art to Asia Society Texas Center.

This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.




About Asia Society Texas Center
With 12 locations throughout the world, Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the west. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach. Visit us at


Rose Rougeau
Vice President, Communication & Audience Engagement
Asia Society Texas Center; 713.208.1045